“However we dress, wherever we go,
yes means yes, and no means no.”
In the promotional YouTube video for
the upcoming Claremont Slutwalk, a disembodied hand scrawls this quote, and other sound bites
relate sexual assault awareness between images of women’s feet slipping
into a variety of footwear.
The student-made video
advertises the event to be held tomorrow between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Scripps College’s Jaqua Quad. The Scripps Resident Advisers
and Scripps sexual assault awareness group It Ends Here will be hosting the
walk to address the adversity of “victim-blaming and
slut-shaming.” All members of the Claremont community are invited to put on
their walking shoes—or dancing, clubbing, or strolling shoes—and show their
support for increasing awareness and campus conversation about the reality of
sexual stereotypes, expectations and offenses.
Claremont Slutwalk is part of an
international movement that began a year ago after a Toronto police officer
stated that, to avoid danger, women should “avoid dressing like sluts.” Cities
around the world responded by hosting Slutwalks as a way of spreading the message that a
short dress is not an invitation for assault.
Critics of the movement feel that
Slutwalk is too narrow in its scope, ignoring multiple sexual orientations and
ethnicities. Conscious of such criticism, organizers of the Claremont Slutwalk
are reaching out to organizations for students of color, queer/allied organizations and
other progressive groups on campus.
“There’s this feeling of ‘Oh my god,
how am I gonna go to class? I have to see them in my class every other day,’” she said.
This Saturday’s Slutwalk is the
largest event the group has organized so far, and it is part of their efforts “to make
(assault) a non-taboo topic on campus.”
Mathai, a Scripps RA, founded It
Ends Here in Fall 2011 along with another RA, Bere V. Nava SC ’12. The group
is dedicated to teaching effective self-defense techniques and countering
misinformation about personal safety and sexual assault. Mathai and Nava were
disappointed with the lack of depth in campus discussions regarding these issues,
particularly during the Scripps student orientation, and created the group to fill
what they saw as a dangerous void.
Tomorrow’s Slutwalk will begin on Jaqua
Quad with student speakers and some items of
swag for sale, and then the event will take the form of a march. Participants are welcome to attend the event as they are dressed or in
costume. Organizers explained that ideally, walkers will come in groups and with a particular theme to
emphasize the limited perception of what is considered “slutty” or “asking for
“You can come on your own, but if
you’re more confident with coming in a group, then come in a group and bring swag,”